Good Riddance

My Republic

Written by: PP on 06/07/2006 03:23:42

Good Riddance can almost be called the quintessential Fat Wreck Chords band. People perceive their sound as exactly how a Fat Wreck band should sound like, while they still stay (mostly) true to their Californian melodic punk rock roots. "My Republic" is their eighth studio album and continues the bands logical evolution into a bigger, more epic sound without sacrificing their roots too badly.

But unfortunately for the band, it isn't until the fifth, maniacally paced track "Torches And Tragedies" that they start shining and sounding like Good (Ol') Riddance. You would easily be forgiven if you thought you were listening to a mid-90s Bad Religion album on the first three tracks, and especially "Out Of Minds" backup vocals and the overall structure could be straight from Bad Religion's 1995 compilation album "All Ages". "Shame" sounds like Strung Out re-visited and "Texas" is almost as cheezy as the new Goldfinger records. It's as if the band spends the first four tracks trying to re-discover their own sound, which is omnipresent on the remainder of the album, isolating these tracks from the later songs onthe album. The fast, tempo-changing "Up To You" is one of the highlights together with "Save The Children", which boasts with its uplifting, encouraging lyrics. Good Riddance has always differed from the political punk bands in that instead of being overly critical and negative about the government/society/insert a thing to complain here, they offer concrete ideas and solutions to the everyday problems faced by society in a clever, witty and meaningful way.

However, where their earlier material had an almost razor-sharp sound, "My Republic" is plagued by big production and far too many radio-friendly songs whose infectious choruses scare away the melodic punk rock lover faster than you can blink your eye ("Boise", "Texas" to give a few examples), which is unfortunate, because most of the songs on the album, while not reinventing the wheel, are decent, above-average straight forward punk rock with great hooks and clever lyrics.

"My Republic" is a record highly influenced by the recent success of bands like Yellowcard and Anti-Flag who turned away from their signature sound in favor of one that sells more but hasn't quite decided where they want to stand. Pick this one up, as the next record will most likely be slaughtered by the critics, and have a good look at their back catalogue too.

7

Download: Up To You, Save The Children
For the fans of: Strung Out, Bad Religion, Lagwagon, Strike Anywhere
Listen: Tons of MP3s @ Fat Wreck

Release date 27.06.2006
Fat Wreck Chords

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